Does anyone else think that it’s time for a break? Well, it might be a little too early for that but the first few days (and even the first couple of weeks) of a semester can still be pretty hectic. By now, most of us have met with our teachers in one form of another: zoom calls, introductory assignments, and other activities in class. Along with meeting teachers, we have also met new people from other instructors to classmates. The mix of seeing a lot of new faces and jamming a lot of information about classes can be very overwhelming to some people, myself included. I remember last semester that the first two weeks of classes were filled with nonstop worrying and work as I was still learning what being a university student means in terms of responsibilities and workload. Many of my friends who were also freshmen thought that the whole semester was going to be this constant blender of stress, but eventually, we all started to figure it out (to some extent). I learned about the great resources at UNC beyond just the teachers, many of which helped me transition into this weird online university experience we’re all sharing.
Now that a semester has passed and a new one has started, I still feel like the onset of work can be overbearing, but I think I’m handling it a lot better now. I’m actually getting a (relatively) good amount of sleep after the first few days and I’ve been on top of my classes and assignments so far. What really helps with that is having a class that seems genuinely interesting. Going into English 105i, I had never really taken a class that integrates two seemingly distinct subjects, but I was curious/anxious about what was to come. Tuesday was pretty run of the mill in terms of what the first day of classes is usually like. Our first zoom call was pretty much a run-through of the syllabus for the class and some introductions to how the class would work. Thursday was what I consider the true first day of class since it was where many of us met our groupmates and started delving into our homework/reading content. I’ve never really been the biggest literature person, but I have to appreciate the interesting material we covered. Almost any kind of writing you can think of falls into a kind of recognizable and workable category, or genres as was mentioned in the Writing Guide, and these categories all serve some kind of purpose to someone, in some situation. It’s interesting to think that even a grocery list can be classified in such a way, and it’s almost a scientific way of looking at literature.
When I learned that we had a weekly Course Blog at our first zoom class and that I was the first one up, I was a little nervous, considering this is a good chunk of our grade. I began to think about my experience in English 105i and my other classes, and the two main thoughts in my head were: “How have I established myself as a student at the beginning of my second semester?” and “Is it better than what I did last semester?”. Reflecting on the past few days, I am having a lot more fun in my classes than I was a few months ago, I’m getting used to how my classes work a lot faster than I was before, and I’m taking care of myself better mentally than last semester. In closing, I hope that I keep getting better at being a student and I’m looking forward to the semester.
– Varun Indugula
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